A major change in educational requirements for members of the military, especially non-commissioned officers (NCOs) is causing a shakeup in their ranks.

After high school, many young adults are faced with the decision of either continuing their education, finding a job, or potentially joining the military.

Although each of these decisions have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages, joining the military hasn’t become more popular throughout the years.

The idea of joining the armed services is either an alternative to college or, better yet, a means to pay for college once one’s obligation to the military has been fulfilled.

However, today’s military is constantly evolving, especially for noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and enlisted personnel.

Recently, Sgt. Maj. Troy Black, who is the top enlisted leader in the Marines, has publicly disclosed his vision of what he called a new military.

This new military would be where staff NCOs would begin to take on more and more of the critical thinking responsibilities normally delegated to junior officers.

“We are going to need staff NCOs that are collegiate minded,” Black said.

In the past, collegiate requirements only applied to commissioned officers, who could later go on to become unit commanders all the way up to the rank of general while these higher rankings are often unobtainable for NCOs.

Yet, due to the sudden reliance on smaller units taking on larger leadership roles, the military has put increased decision making and critical thinking burdens on small unit leaders who are most often NCOs.

Therefore, a summit was held early this month at the Marine Corps University campus on the Marine Corps Base Quantico to discuss how enlisted personnel can obtain degrees and adjusting courses for NCOs.

“This will be a major adjustment all branches of the military will have to make and it could affect the entire ranking structure,” Staff Sgt. Benson, a U.S. Army recruiter from Long Beach said.

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